Hamelin Brothers Fly Through 1000m Qualifications in Seoul

Brothers Charles and François Hamelin (Ste-Julie, QC) won each of their three 1000m qualification races in Seoul, today, ensuring their spot and good starting positions for Sunday’s quarter finals. Last weekend, they finished respectively 2nd and 4th in the distance. The 1000m race is the Hamelin’s favorite distance, and they definitely have their sights set on the podium, hoping to step on it together as they did last Fall at the Vancouver World Cup.

Teammate Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, QC) will join them in the quarter final round. After finishing second of his first two races, Jean went on to win the next round. “Our three guys were patient in each of their races, allowing them to prepare fast passes and take control of the race when it mattered most,” explained Team Leader Yves Hamelin.

On the women side, Kalyna Roberge (St-Étienne-de-Lauzon, QC) will be the lone Canadian representative in the quarter finals on Sunday. Roberge had a strong day, with the second fastest time in the distance (1:33.570). The young skater missed most of last week’s final rounds because of back pains, but is now back in top form and fully focused on racing.

Tania Vicent (Laval, QC) was facing tough competition in her third round, as she was lined up with Chinese Wang Meng, American Katherine Reutter, winner of the gold medal in the distance last week, and Australian Tatiana Borodulina. She finished fourth and will not be able to advance to the quarter finals.

Valérie Maltais (La Baie, QC) pushed hard in her third round, finishing third behind Italian Arianna Fontana and Japanese Mika Ozawa, but her time of 1 :35.344 was a little too slow for her to qualify.

Roberge and Maltais were joined by Jessica Gregg (Edmonton, AB) and Marianne St-Gelais (St-Félicien, QC) for the relay quarter final, and Team Canada easily qualified in 4:20.626, ahead of Hungary (4:21.524) and Russia (4:22.011). “The women had a good race, starting slowly in the back, before managing two strong passes to take the win almost one second ahead of their closest oponent,” said Yves Hamelin. They will now face China, Hungary and Great Britain in semi-final action on Sunday.

On the men side, Charles Hamelin and Jean teamed up with François-Louis Temblay (Montreal, QC) and Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, QC) to win two races, first ahead of Russia and France, then against the United States, Germany and Bulgaria. The Canadians achieved the top time in the distance.

Their semi-final will not be an easy one, however, as they will be facing Korea, the US and Japan in what could easily be a final round. Races will resume tomorrow afternoon in Seoul, and medals will be awarded in the 1500m and 500m.